Controversial court decisions eventually absorbed into mainstream
Heflin reflects on the influence of the judiciary. He believes that some rulings are controversial when they are made but, with time, become part of the fabric of a community.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Howell Heflin, July 9, 1974. Interview A-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
But I foresee in the future a role of the state
judiciaries by which they will occupy a, more of a potent factor on
philosophy than it has in the past. I don't think you're going. . . .
Any elected system, they aren't going to get out of. . . they aren't
going to move too fast and that sort of thing. But they're going to
still. . . I foresee, with young judges coming in. . . and the fact that
other things. . . . the pendulum has swung so against the federal court.
Now, as somebody pointed out the other day, if you were to go back and
say what would you repeal? Now that things have occurred,
what would you repeal that the United States Supreme Court decisions
made during the Warren things? And you stop and think. I
don't agree with their search and seizures. I don't agree with a lot of
things that they've done. But at the same time, their basic, fundamental
rights, such as the fact that every indigent defendent ought to have a
lawyer. I mean it's become now commonplace. The average lawyer and the
average person would not like to see a system where you went back and
did not see that a poor man was not adequately represented in court.
They go back to the Miranda warning. That was revolutionary. Well, now
you feel like that everytime the policeman arrests somebody and says
"Now you're under arrest. You've got certain rights. You can
remain silent." This is just common place in the English system
and has been for years. I don't think many people would want to
change and say that a person does not have the
right to be informed that he can remain silent and that he has certain
individual rights that would protect him. So there are a lot of changes
that have occurred that now that they've occurred, while they were
cursed and people said that they were revolutionary, you wouldn't want
to go back and say I'll repeal those things. And I think that type of
feeling is that those things are good for the people. There are
things--search and seizure-where I think justice
has got to be reached.